Pip and Peeper taken to wildlife rehab--Update 7/14/2011

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by desertdarlene, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sad and I don't know if I did the right thing. I was happy to find two missing ducklings, now about three to four weeks old. However, they were totally alone and not doing well. I don't know where they've been all this time, but they've been away so long that their real mom (and a sibling) has rejected them. Last I saw these two, they were running through the lake's parking lot, then they suddenly show up at the lake entrance about two weeks later.

    When I first saw them, yesterday, they didn't seem distressed, so I left them alone. I figured that they may have been adopted by another female (they were very young when they disappeared and were within the time period where they could have bonded to another female/family). Today, early in the morning, I saw them still in the same place, fairly lethargic, but all the ducks were. It was in the upper 50s last night and they are about half feathered.

    I decided to go on my walk and check on them when I got back. When I did, one of them (Pip) immediately got up and moved fast when I approached. But, Peeper tried to get up, fell over, and stretched out. So, I grabbed him and got a box. However, Pip was not going willingly! I was not going to take one and not the other since Pip was screaming his head off running into the road looking for his brother. He was way too fast, so I let Peeper go and they were so happy, swimming, drinking and eating moss. Then, a family came by and started feeding the ducks. A coot viciously attacked Peeper who was too weak and slow to get away. Then, their mom and sibling attacked them and so did all the other ducks! So, the family helped me catch them and take them both to the rehabber.

    But, the rehabber seemed upset about me doing that and said that they were old enough to be on their own (they were still covered with a lot of down). I've never seen ducklings this age totally on their own and survive. It makes me wonder if I did the right thing. She said they would check them over and release them when they're bigger. I hope they wait at least a couple of weeks and not dump them back out there right away. I know they're tight on space, but I will be pretty upset if they release them too soon.

    Also, they took my name and personal information. Do you think I will get fined for removing them from the lake? I took them straight to the rehabber with no stops.

    And, I wonder if someone stole them when they were young and the released them back into the lake. Because if they weren't adopted by another female, then how did they survive all these cool nights all alone?

    Here's a picture of them I took yesterday. Pip in on the left, Peeper is on the right.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    You did the right thing! Especially if they seemed weak and cold.
    At 50 degrees and not totally feathered, they can't keep themselves warm with no mamma to take care of them.
    No, you won't get fined. It would be just like if you found an injured duck at the lake and took it to the rehabbers.
    Would they prefer you to just let them die? Not much of an attitude for a rehabber if that's what they want you to do.
    I told you, I think you are a ducky Superhero, Darlene and I think you did the right thing!
     
  3. shaylabailey

    shaylabailey Out Of The Brooder

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    They look about the same age as my bunch and if that's true, then of course you did the right thing. The rehabber seems a little odd. I don't think you'd get fined; you did an awesome thing. [​IMG]
     
  4. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I feel better, though I can't stop thinking about them. I think the issue with this center is that they're overwhelmed with animals right now and so many people jump the gun and turn them in when they are not in trouble. And, I think they want to do everything they can to discourage people from bringing them in. I was going to call them before I caught the ducklings, but I'm sure they would say to leave them alone. I wouldn't have been able to bear it if I came in this morning or tomorrow and saw one of them dead knowing that I could have done something to prevent it.

    I'm actually surprised that they survived at least one night, perhaps two, especially with raccoons in that area. I think more and more about the fact that I think someone dropped them off after having them illegally for a while and they stayed in the same place waiting for "mom" (the human mom) to come back and give them food.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  5. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    If they were in fact, dumped, Darlene, they wouldn't have had a single chance.
    Don't feel bad at all-sometimes, it IS necessary to step in.
     
  6. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Great job! I think them getting picked up as babies and dumped back off seems pretty plausible. As a matter of fact, that's what I was thinking at the beginning of your post. Hoefully the rehabbers keep them long enough they can regain their strength and get their feathers in so they have a fighting chance.
     
  7. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope they don't just release them early, either. Usually, they wait until they're three months old before releasing ducklings. I won't know what to do if they put them back right away. But, I did fill out a card so that they can tell me what happened and if they release them.

    I forgot to add that their mom (who rejected them) was still warming up the duckling that didn't get taken. So, I know they still needed to be kept warm.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  8. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I thought I would share this photo. This was the last day I saw all three together. It was a cool day and not very many people were at the lake, so the mom took a stroll through the almost empty parking lot. I took a few pictures of them and went to check on some other ducklings. When I came back, the mom was without the ducklings and laying in an "island" in the parking lot! I looked all over and could not find the ducklings! I thought that maybe the female I thought was the mom wasn't really her, so I continued on with what I was doing. As I was leaving, I saw the mom with the smallest duckling, but not the other two. I thought they must be there and that I just couldn't see them. The next day, there still was only one and it has been that way for almost a month until Pip and Peeper showed up.

    Anyway, here's one of the last photos I took of them as a family (if Pip and Peeper are two of these ducklings):

    [​IMG]
     
  9. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just found out that they're doing well and will be released sometime next week. They should be around 5 or 6 weeks old by then, so hopefully everything will go well. I've seen 5 or 6 week olds on their own, so it's not unusual. But, they didn't tell me what was wrong with them. Hopefully, all they needed was a little warmth, vitamins, and good food for a few days to build up their strength.
     
  10. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You certainly did the right thing. Kudos to you. Hope they thrive.
     

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